Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Calhoun County- 2015

It has been at least several years since we have made a fall trip to this part of Illinois.  Melissa, our daughter, wanted her son Nathan to experience apple picking so it was important to make the trip.  It was also fun for John and I now to visit the orchards with a grandson!  From where we are parked in St.Charles it is just a matter of driving a short distance and crossing the Mississippi River and Illinois River by ferry.
Just as we drove up to the Golden Eagle landing we saw a truck with large logs driving off the ferry.  That was a first for us, over the many years we have taken the ferry, we never saw a logging truck.  The ferries can certainly take a lot of weight.  The sign above lets us know that once we are on the ferry we are crossing into "scenic Calhoun County Illinois".
It was a bit of an overcast day with spot showers.  However, the picture above should give you an idea of the beauty of Calhoun County with its rolling river hills.  It is all farmland and pastures.
The best place for apple picking with a toddler is Eckert's orchards.  The place has certainly grown since we were there with our children.  Now there are kiddie rides as well as a petting zoo.  In the latter area is a miniature Zebu cow, the sacred cow of India.  Also called a Brahman cow, it is the only cow with a hump.   It differs from other non-hump cattle in that it has looser and tougher skin, as well as fine short hair.
It took a bit of convincing from us to stop Nathan from picking up rotten apple from the ground.  He soon realized that there were apples at his height to pick.  His mama was also at the ready to snap a picture of his first picking.  Our day ended at the Fin Inn restaurant in Grafton, Illinois.  It is a restaurant with four 2,000 gallon tank aquariums containing a variety of fish and turtles.  There is table-side viewing of the tanks. It is a bit disconcerting to be eating their kin while they are staring at you, but at least they entertained Nathan for a brief period of time.

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